I was never really big on cooking up until about three years ago. Baking was more my thing. But the more I started experimenting with it, the more fun I had with it. Bryon loves cooking, and if I'm being totally honest, he usually is the one to cook dinner, but that's not to say I NEVER cook. We both ended up buying each other the same cook book for Christmas, Thug Kitchen. Aside from the hilarious foul language throughout, the recipes are pretty bomb. Both Bryon and I eat pretty healthy food, so the recipes are great. It's all vegetarian (but it doesn't mean you have to be a vegetarian to use it - we all know how to cook meat). What I really love is that it teaches you how to use different ingredients and other types of proteins to make a meal. This is not your standard meat and potatoes cook book.
The first recipe we tried was the Coconut Lime Rice with red beans and mango.
(disclaimer, I sort of read the recipe wrong and we added up double cooking the rice. It's wasn't a complete fail, it still tasted amazing - just a little softer)
(above) The finished product, which would have looked much better had I cooked the rice properly, but that's neither here nor there. It tasted amazing. We added a whole can of red beans for extra protein. This was because we weren't eating it as a side, but as meal.
(above) I look like a hobo because we had just finished working out at the gym. We're on this new routine where we gym first and then eat. My yoga pants were a Christmas present from Bryon. They are Teeki pants in the Unicorn Wrangler print! I have four pairs in other prints.
(above) Instead of shallots, we used a sweet onion (not a whole one!) Sweet onions are the only type of onion I can cut without enduring severe pain in my eyes. Plus, I think they taste better.
(above) A year ago I watched a YouTube video so I could learn how to cut a mango like this. But if you buy Thug Kitchen, there's a page devoted to this type of parring.
COCONUT-LIME RICE WITH RED BEANS AND MANGO
Recipe from Thug Kitchen
2 cups short-grain brown rice
2 teaspoons neutral-tasting oil (I used light olive oil)
1 cup diced shallots or onion
1 1/2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger (we omitted this, because I hate ginger)
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt (we added onion salt. It was good)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups cooked red beans (I used 1 can of mixed beans)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro or green onions (for garnish, we didn't do this though.)
Rinse the rice under cool water. Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the shallots or onion and saute until they start to brown in some spots, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds until everything smells choice. Add the rice and keep stirring until the rice starts to smell slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, broth, salt, and cayenne pepper and bring to a simmer. Give the pot a quick stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. If your rice isn’t done by the time the liquid is absorbed, add a little more broth or water.
While the rice is cooking, chop up the mango into bite-size pieces.
When the rice is tender, fold in the beans, lime zest, lime juice, and mango. Let cook for another minute or so until everything is warm. Serve topped with cilantro or green onions.